Arts and Culture

On Friday, the Speed Art Museum hosted a series of public discussions led by prominent artists, academics and historians about how we commemorate the South’s complex history. The event was called “Southern Symbols.”

But some of the most interesting conversations of the day actually took place outside the auditorium — on a bench found on the third floor of the museum, located at the exit of “Southern Accent.”

“Southern Accent” is a special exhibition at the museum that takes a hard look at the region’s social, political and cultural landscapes, resulting in what museum officials say is the institution’s biggest and most ambitious contemporary art exhibition to date.

It’s an exhibition that surprised many visitors—they went in with one idea of what the South is and, while looking at the artwork, their perspective shifted in some way. You can listen to some visitors’ impressions of the collection in the audio player above.